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Major 25th Street Construction Starts Tuesday - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Major 25th Street Construction Starts Tuesday

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UPDATE

If you haven't planned an alternate route, now is the time to do it. On Tuesday, May 6, crews will begin work on 25th Street South in Fargo. One lane will be closed in each direction between 17th Avenue and 23rd Avenue. During this phase, traffic will be traveling in the outside lanes.  Turn lanes will also be shortened or not accessible in this stretch.

Lane closures will be needed on I-94 to widen the bridge pier in the median. The widened pier is needed to support the widening of the bridge and roadway above I-94. This work is tentatively scheduled to start next week.

This project will add an additional lane in each direction on the stretch between 17th Avenue and 23rd Avenue, including widening the bridge that crosses I-94. An on-ramp will be added for northbound traffic on 25th Street South to enter eastbound I-94 without crossing traffic. At the completion of the project, motorists will increase from two to three lanes of traffic in each direction, with a center turning lane.

“By adding a lane each direction in this stretch, we will address the additional traffic that uses 25th street on their daily commute,” says Kevin Gorder, assistant district engineer for the NDDOT Fargo District.  “Since the bridge was built in 1990, the surrounding neighborhoods and business communities have grown and more traffic travels through this corridor. This project, when completed, will allow more traffic to pass through the corridor with less congestion during rush hour.”

During construction, motorists can expect:

-          Significant delays, as there will be reduced lanes of traffic on 25th Street throughout the project, and occasional reduced lanes of traffic on I-94 during beam setting on the bridge widening portion of the project.

-          Additional congestion through project area, as turn lanes will be shortened or not provided during construction. Vehicles turning off the roadway will need to wait for breaks in traffic.

-          Reduced speeds in the work zone to ensure safety for the traveling public, as well as the crews that will be working adjacent to traffic.

The NDDOT Fargo District suggests using an alternate route if possible.

“Motorists need to pay attention as they drive through this work zone,” says Gorder. “There will be a lot of start and stop traffic, and cars will be head to head. At times there may be trucks entering the work zones as well. Planning for additional delays and eliminating distractions such as cell phones and food will move traffic smoothly though the work zone.”

This project is expected to wrap up in November 2014, weather permitting.

ORIGINAL STORY

Construction season has arrived and with it a monster of a project claiming a major artery of metro area traffic. Tens of thousands of drivers will have to reconsider their commute along 25th Street South in Fargo through the spring, summer and fall. The city is just weeks away from breaking ground on a $25 million project to widen 25th Street to six lanes, from 17th Ave to 23rd Avenue South.

Dean Vollmer has 28 years experience watching his neighborhood bordering 25th Street grow.

"It's changed from a traffic standpoint," Dean explained. "It's gotten more intense through the years."

But, he's about to see it change more drastically than ever before.

"This winter, they started more construction putting in some of the underground lines," he said of the first stages of the 25th Street project.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation says 27,000 vehicles use those five blocks of 25th street each day. Beginning in May, they're about to be reduced to one lane and slower speeds, which means significant delays and detours through Dean's neighborhood.

"The lane that they're adding brings it closer to our backyards and closer to the homes that are along 25th street, so that's a concern," Dean said.
But, the city says the project is a pain everyone will have to work around as it's going to alleviate problems for many drivers.

"As the amount of traffic there has increased, it's a tough intersection for everyone," Drew Schwan, Operations Manager for F-M Ambulance, said of the interstate exits on 25th.

Crews at F-M Ambulance are working with the city to draw up a plan through the months of road work. They say they have options to keep the roadwork from slowing down their emergency response times.

"Obviously this is our main station," Schwan said, "but, we're always mobile so if that means posting an ambulance on one side or the other so we can make the best response time, that is our priority."
So, if the future of Fargo is your final destination, beware of the detours ahead. You may be getting know more of your neighbors along the way.

"Apparently, they've done their studies and found they need to add those lanes. So, on with prosperity," Dean said.

The project also means widening the 25th Street overpass, which means shutting down the interstate for some time during non-rush hours. On the bright side, crews will be adding an Eastbound I-94 on ramp near Doolittle's. F-M Ambulance says that's going to greatly improve many of their response times.

If you'd like to stay up to date with the project, follow NDDOTFargo on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or their web site. You can also sign up for text alerts by sending the message 'FargoDOT' to 66746.

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